Road Trips: People either love ’em or hate ’em. Ten years ago, I would have jumped at the chance to take a road trip, now . . . eh, not so much! It’s not exactly my favorite way of travel, now that I’m a bit older. However, when well prepared, road trips can be A LOT less grueling. Read on as I share a checklist of Road Trip Essentials that got us through our 17-hour road trip from New England to Atlanta for the Haven Conference last week!
*This post contains affiliate links for your convenience, should you purchase an item by clicking one of the links, Made by Carli will receive small commission.
Road trip essentials for Driver and Co-Pilot:
- Sunglasses (great men’s option)
- Sunglasses (women’s)
- Navigation, I know most people rely on cell phones nowadays, but it’s a great idea to also have a navigation if your vehicle isn’t already equipped with one. Cell phones aren’t always reliable if you are in a weak service area.
- Neck pillow
- The Best Insulated Mug Ever, I never leave home without this mug. I guarantee you will have ice for up to 24 hours with this mug!
- Emergency Car and First Aid kit
- Camera , I use this camera with a tripod
- 2-in-1 Phone charger, this charger works on both IPhones and androids.
- Tablet or laptop
- Air Buds, in case someones taste of music doesn’t match yours
- A Good Book, my friend just wrote this book, and I’ve been taking my time to read it, great inspiration and encouragement for the home.
- Snacks (sweet and salty: think trail mix, peanut butter crackers, pringles and twizzlers.
- Bottled Water, Frozen
- Comfy clothes
- Insulated cooler bag, (see bottled water above)
- Slides (Men’s)
- Slides (Women’s)
- Candy (see Twizzlers)
- Hand Sanitzer Kit
- Face Wash, Whenever I travel to warm/humid climates, my skin goes berserk. I purchased this on the trip to Atlanta and it has been life changing for me.
- Duffel Bag, great for small space situations.
Road trip essentials for Kids (Little to Big):
- Coloring pads/Books
- Road Trip Games, a great list of games, however, we typically stick to I Spy, or The Alphabet game (the one where the first player says a word that starts with A, then the next person repeats, the first players word and then adds on with a word that begins with B, and then the next player repeats the first two and adds on and continues taking turns until they get to Z. If a player stumbles or forgets the order they are out.
- Pull ups
- Wet Ones
- Snacks, snacks and more snacks- uncrustables, protein bars, pretzels or buy a variety in bulk.
- Travel urinal, let’s face it, this is not the most glamorous item on the list, but this can be a lifesaver, especially with little ones (or just bring a large empty bottle).
- Kids’ Car Seat Tray Organizer
- Pillow/Blanket Combo
- Headphones or Air buds, a Godsend when kids are playing video games or watching loud shows on their tablets.
- Podcasts for kids that adults will like too
- Tablet or cellphone
- Travel Mugs
- Slides, great as they can easily slide on and off for quick rest stop breaks.
- Children’s Medicine: Motrin/Tylenol/Benadryl/Pepto Bismol
Packing for a Road Trip
Use Duffel bags, not suitcases. Duffel bags are soft and are easier to maneuver into smaller spaces. We usually carry 1 per 2 people. My husband and I share on, and our two youngest share one. Roll each individual clothing items to maximize space in the duffel bag.
We keep snacks in a foldable cube container and place it either right behind our oldest child, or in between the two kids. These are great because they are rigid enough to keep food contained, and everything is easy to see and accessible, as opposed to it being in a bag. We stock up on chips, yogurt tubes, apple sauces, trail mixes and string cheese
Beverages and Refrigerated Food
We usually stick to bottled waters, and pouch type juices. We like to freeze ours ahead of time, instead of filling a cooler with ice, they work perfectly to keep sandwiches and other snacks cold, without the mess of melting ice.
I have to say I was really dreading this road trip. It’s the first road trip we’ve taken since Cayden was a baby and since Kyle’s been born. By sticking to this list we hit the open road with very few stops, and very few “Are we There Yets?” which to me, is definitely a win in my book!
So, tell me? Did I forget anything? If you road trip often, share some of your essentials for a stress free road trip below.